Chitetsu Watanabe
Chitetsu Watanabe
Watanabe being recognised as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records, 12 February 2020
Birth: 5 March 1907
Joetsu, Niigata, Japan
Death: 23 February 2020
Joetsu, Niigata, Japan
Age: 112 years, 355 days
Country: JapanJPN
Validated

Chitetsu Watanabe [Japanese: 渡邉智哲] (5 March 1907 – 23 February 2020) was a Japanese supercentenarian who, at the time of his death, was the world's oldest living man whose age is validated by the Gerontology Research Group. He was officially recognised as the world's oldest living man by Guinness World Records just eleven days before his death.

Biography

Early Life

Watanabe was born in the Urakawahara suburb of Joetsu, Niigata, Japan on 5 March 1907. He was the first of eight children born to Haruzo and Miya Watanabe, who were farmers. After graduating from an agricultural high school, Watanabe worked for Dai-Nippon Meiji Sugar and moved to Taiwan to help conclude sugar cane plantation contracts there.

During his 18 years in Taiwan, Watanabe married his wife, Mitsue, and four out of their five children were born there. He also served in the military towards the end of the Pacific War in 1944. He returned to Niigata after the war and worked for a departure agency.

Later Life

In 1974, Watanabe and his son Tetsuo built a new family home, which had about a hectare worth of farm next to it. He also worked on his bonsai until he was set to live in a nursing home. He also presented his work at local exhibitions until 2007.

After retiring, Watanabe lived with one of his son's family until the age of 108, when he moved to a care facility in Joetsu, Niigata, Japan. As of 2019, he had 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. In January 2019, in an interview for a local newspapers, he said that the secret to his longevity was to "not to get angry and keep a smile on your face".

Longevity Records

Watanabe became the oldest living person in Niigata Prefecture following the death of Tora Kosugi on 11 December 2018. He became the oldest living man in Japan following the death of 113-year-old Masazo Nonaka on 20 January 2019.

Following Nonaka's death, Watanabe became the oldest living man whose age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group. However, at the time there were other claimants to the world's oldest man title, such as Gustav Gerneth and Domingo Villa Avisencio (both of whom are now deceased), whose ages have not been validated.

On 12 February 2020, Watanabe was officially recognised as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records. He died eleven days later on 23 February 2020, aged 112 years, 355 days.

Gallery

References


World's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (V • TE)

Sylvester Melvin • Joseph Saint-Amour • William Fullingim • John Mosley Turner
Friedrich Wedeking • Frederick Butterfield • Jean Teillet • Charlie Nelson • Charlie Phillips • Mathew Beard • Joe Thomas • Herman Smith-Johannsen • Alphaeus Philemon Cole • John Evans • Henri Perignon • James Wiggins • Frederick Frazier • Josep Armengol-Jover • Christian Mortensen • Johnson Parks • Walter Richardson • Denzo Ishizaki • Antonio Urrea-Hernandez • John Painter • Antonio Todde • Yukichi Chuganji • Joan Riudavets-Moll • Fred Hale • Emiliano Mercado del Toro • Tomoji Tanabe • Henry Allingham • Walter Breuning • Jiroemon Kimura • Salustiano Sanchez • Arturo Licata • Alexander Imich • Sakari Momoi • Yasutaro Koide • Israel Kristal • Francisco Nunez Olivera • Masazo NonakaChitetsu WatanabeBob Weighton


Japan's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

Ikumatsu Matsuura • Masakichi Kai • Goro Usuyama • Shizuo Jinjiang • Kokuzo Iwate • Eisaku Takada • Hisaharu Arai • Chojiro Goto • Yozotaro Yoshikawa • Masutaro Sato • Takataro Hiragushi • Mataichi Ono • Shotaro Tanaka • Rinzo Shimizu • Koji Onishi • Inasaku Abe • Mokotaru Osada • Eiju Tsuru • Kiichi Fujiwara • Nisaburo Matsuyama • Shimetaro Hara • Gihei Oka • Gengan Tonaki • Denzo Ishizaki • Sadayoshi Tanabe • Yukichi Chuganji • Kameni Nakamura • Minsho Ozawa • Totaro Murakami • Kohachi Shigetaka • Nijiro Tokuda • Tomoji Tanabe • Jiroemon Kimura • Jokichi Ikarashi • Sakari Momoi • Yasutaro Koide • Masamitsu Yoshida • Masazo NonakaChitetsu WatanabeIssaku TomoeShojiro ShiraiMotoi FukunishiMikizo Ueda

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